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Monthly Archives: April 2017

April 26, 2017

Change makes people nervous. And it seems to scare some people. Others it just makes mad. But change happens. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not considered a good thing, but it is inevitable. Nothing stays the same. Someone dies and someone is born. Even that small happening brings immense change.

No more can a person walk into Wolf Creek Mini – Mall just to have a little bit of Johnni sunshine into their life. That’s change that hurts. And her family is probably hurting more than I can imagine. To have someone so special that is part of you, is wonderful, but saying goodbye to them has to be much harder than losing someone that isn’t that great.

Good – bye, Johnita Gloden. You are already missed more than can be imagined. But change happens. Each of us needs to act a little nicer, a little less judgemental, and smile a little more just to make up for the absence of Johnni.

Our Pioneer Day Parade is also beloved. And there’s change happening with it, too, this year. First, it will start at 9:30 am, an hour earlier. Deal with it. It is still going to be wonderful. Second, there is a fee to enter of $20. That’s so there can be awards given out. Skip your daily soda this week and the $20 will be there. Third, the parade route is changing. It starts at Northridge Shopping Center on Highway 64 North and travels down Main Street to North Fifth Street (Long and McKinnon, City office, RC Party) and they turn right and go straight on to the Texas County Activity Center. There is a jog cut out, much to the relief of some of the drivers.

As people have found out about the changes, as is normal, some have been quite irritated and vocal, too. One such person called the Chamber, all up in arms, and ranted a bit. She/He was also confused and incorrect, thinking the parade was going over the railroad tracks and on south. Really? There certainly wasn’t much thought in that rant. Over the railroad tracks? And what would we do when a train comes through? Politely ask it to wait? Shees.

Sort of makes Mark Twain’s comment come to mind, “Often it does seem a pity that Noah and his party did not miss the boat.”

But, in all fairness, we all have our moments when we don’t think things through. Certainly is true for me. And think on it, it can be said of the church, too. Some churches are against surrogate mothers. Good thing they didn’t have that rule when Jesus was born.

Last Saturday was also a time of change. More than a hundred people came out and helped with the Main Street and City Community Clean – Up. What makes someone come out and help others, cleaning up someone else’s trash? Some came because their coach told them they had too. Some came because they told their teams they were required. Some did because they have advisors and mentors that are trying to teach them the importance of service.

Each and every one of them deserves our appreciation and gratitude. And if you were home sitting on your tush, you need to ponder the thought of why these youngsters (by far the majority) were there, pitching in and smiling and making a difference and you weren’t. If each of us receives in accordance to what we give, those youngsters are going to be cashing in while some of us are still playing couch potato. It is what it is.

The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self.” My selfish self tries to remember this often and I aspire to get better at it. We all should.

Signing off, I wish to send blessings to all those who helped with the Community Clean – Up. And while doing so, to also ask for peace for the family of Johnita Gloden who was one of our county’s greatest helpers. May we all receive some of the blessings like Johnni gave.

See you on the bricks!

April 25, 2017

Sometimes sarcasm is just the tone for the day. That day is today. And I’m feeling the need to share some of it with you, if you don’t mind. Well, even if you do because you and I both know that you can just quit reading this at any point of your choosing.

The basketball playoffs are going strong and there are some good games being played. Those who love watching sports have to be enjoying them. Dave Berry is a sports columnist and he once wrote, ‘If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.” That’s funny.

Vanity Fair ran a column by Graydon Carter filled with sarcasm. I saved it. Here’s one little jewel from it, “Only in America could a man who brags about groping and kissing women without their consent win 53 percent of the vote among white women.” Ouch. I tell my children that you must show respect to whomever is holding the office of the President of our nation, but I couldn’t keep myself from sharing that little tidbit.

Gosh the list goes on and on. You getting into the sarcastic mood yet?

“Every time I look at you I get a fierce desire to be lonesome.” That was Oscar Levant, an American comedian who died in 1972 who said that.

Rodney Dangerfield, another American comedian, said, “My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”

There are those who say that they are always honest and I’m here to say that they must not have had small children. Nor many friends. Personally, I think it is wise to remember the saying, “Tell your boss what you think of him, and the truth shall set you free.”
Just because it’s the truth to you, doesn’t mean it’s the truth to everyone.

There are times when you’re asked a question that it is just best to say nothing. America’s President Calvin Coolidge said, “No man ever listened himself out of a job.”

Most people are more interesting once they stop talking.

Comedian Roseanne Barr who could be called a hefty lady, said in her comedy routine, “I asked the clothing store clerk if she had anything to make me look thinner, and she said, ‘How about a week in Bangladesh?’” Ouch.

How about a weekend of Pioneer Days? It’s coming up the first weekend in May and it’s going to be good. You can sign your kids up for the Mutton Bustin’ at the YMCA until Friday the 28th.

The Rotary BBQ is Friday starting at 11:30 and ending at 1 with a plate costing $7 each. Don’t miss that great fun meal at the Activity Center. The Rotary gives many scholarships with the funds garnered that day.

Kids Clown contest is Friday at 10 am in Big R Standard Supply.

The golf tournament is also on Friday morning and the rodeo ends the evening.

Lots of fun. There are schedules out and about or you can go to the Chamber of Commerce website and see what’s in store.

But don’t miss the OPSU rodeo this weekend.

And remember never to give a party if you’re going to be the most interesting person there.

See you on the bricks!

April 24, 2017

Today is simple. I am simple. For those reasons, I am just going to copy a piece I recently read.

“My first eight grades were spent in a rural one – room school. I struggled to learn to read and had difficulty with spelling and grammar. My high school English papers were returned with red circles marked around the many errors and a D written on the top of the page.

“My senior year English teacher, however, was different. She assigned the task of writing an essay on The Lord of the Flies. My paper dealt with the evil in the world. To my surprise, I received an A. She praised the content of the paper, and this made a difference in my life.

“When I write devotions and sermons, the inspiration for them comes from the Lord, but the encouragement to write is a result of that English teacher. She was an instrument from God making a difference in my life. She encouraged me to write and to make a difference in young people’s lives.

“Which teacher inspired you? How have you been an inspiration to others?”

Provokes some thought, doesn’t it?

Here’s another thought. Just because a preacher speaks to his congregation every week and just because a teacher speaks in front of a class every day, this does not mean that their speaking skills cannot improve. Everyone’s speaking skills need to improve.

The best and most enjoyable way to improve your speaking skills is to join a Toastmasters Club. There are two in Guymon, one that meets in the morning over breakfast and one that meetings in the evening, both on a weekly basis. Sitting amongst others who know they can improve how they speak, or can get to the point that they can talk in front of a group, you work on your speaking skills at your own speed and surrounded by people who understand and who share positive instruction. Call Dianna Brown at 580-338-7270 to learn more about visiting this group.

Now let’s all go forth and be an inspiration.

See you on the bricks.

April 10, 2017

Generation Z has some really interesting aspects in association with them. They are the young folks who are buried in their cellphones. In fact, they don’t get magazine subscriptions like we do, but they read the same articles on their cell phones. They don’t watch the news on TV, but they see the same reports on their cellphones.

This is the generation that has had social media and cell phone (ie miniature computers) their entire life as a consumer. Social is not “virtual” to them, but is reality.

One Gen Z came up with a great idea … that there should be a phone invented that is attached to the wall so you can’t lose it. A rotary dial phone is an artifact that they likely have never seen, let alone used.

In a study, 46% of the Gen Z would choose to have internet access over owning a car. The reject traditional and authoritative marketing. You don’t tell them to “Go out NOW and buy XXX.” They need to be constantly courted for their attention and they are much more socially responsible than previous generations.

Often, they will buy the lesser brand if that company has made a social statement and commitment that is shared by the Gen Z, such as those who give a portion of their profits to social endeavors like conservation. They look for a personal / emotional connection to products.
This generation is very influential in what their parents are purchasing, too.

These are the people who Big Business has laid off their parents or lost their retirement, Big Banks have taken their homes, and Big Media has lied to them. They have grown up in a recession and they do not trust those entities that their grandparents trusted.

Those companies who are aware of these changing attitudes are changing their marketing plans, their employment strategies, and they are building and growing. Those who do not change according to the changes in their customers, may not grow.

Here in the Panhandle we have a generation of young kids who care about their community, who want to be a part of improving our home and making it better for our people. Sometimes we get so set in our ways that we don’t let the young ones come in and help.

But they young ones have more energy, they have some new ideas, and they are stronger, quite often. We need to be partners with our youth. That means we need to listen to them, we need to talk with them, and we need to teach one another. It’s all about respect.

No matter what your age, I applaud those who care and who put some sweat equity behind the talk. I thank those who support our community, who work as volunteer Sunday School teachers, City Council members, School Board members, community clean – up helpers, Pioneer Days volunteers (and other community events), those who keep the community food pantry, Loaves and Fishes, going, who take care of the Oakes of Mamre, the businesses who are Chamber and Main Street members, the ones who encourage their employees to be part of the civic organizations and community efforts, the entities that are here to help like Iron Thunder Motorcycle Club and Panhandle Partners, Lions Club and Rotary Club.

Thank you to all and when I see you on the bricks, my hat off to you all. And if you’re not involved with some of these, ask yourself why you aren’t. It would be interesting to know.

See you on the Bricks!

April 6, 2017

The last week or so has been spent cleaning out my desk drawers. Files upon files have been gone through and my mind has wondered why this was deemed worth saving. One set of papers was filed under three different headings. Needless to say, I am feeling more organized. There are also those things that make me go, “Shoot, I thought I had done that!” So, there are more things to complete. It’s all good.

But there in the drawers sit four different books that seemed important to read for my job. They certainly aren’t to read for entertainment purposes. But there are some good thoughts to ponder in them.

I’m in the sharing mood, so let’s go to “The Road Less Traveled.” M. Scott Peck, M.D. has some interesting observations.

He speaks of children who receive “undisciplined discipline” where they are often “punished frequently and severely throughout their childhood – slapped, punched, kicked, beaten, and whipped by their parents for even minor infractions.” He says this type of discipline is meaningless because it is undisciplined discipline.

This is all following the chapter that says we need to be disciplined to meet the problems in our lives. But more about the undisciplined disciplining parents.

“They may frequently get drunk in front of their children. They may fight with each other in front of the children without restraint, dignity or rationality. They may be slovenly. They make promises they don’t keep. Their own live are frequently and obviously in disorder and disarray, and their attempts to order the lives of their children seem therefore to make little sense to these children.

“If father beats up mother regularly, what sense does it make to a boy when his mother beats him up because he beat up his sister? Does it make sense when he’s told that he must learn to control his temper? Since we do not have the benefit of comparison when we are young, our parents are godlike figures to our childish eyes. When parents do things a certain way, it seems to the young child the way to do them, the way they should be done.

“If a child sees his parents day in and day out behaving with self – discipline, restraint, dignity and a capacity to order their own lives, then the child will come to feel in the deepest fibers of his being that this is the way to live ….\

“Yet even more important than role modeling is love. For even in chaotic and disordered homes genuine love is occasionally present, and from such homes may come self – disciplined children. And not infrequently, parents who are professional people – who lead lives of strict orderliness and decorum but yet lack love, send children into the world who are as undisciplined and destructive and disorganized as any child from an impoverished and chaotic home.

“Ultimately love is everything.

“When we love something, it is of value to us, and when something is of value to us we spend time with it, time enjoying it and time taking care of it. Observe a teenager in love with his car and note the time he will spend admiring it, polishing it, repairing it, tuning it. Or a gardener with time spent pruning and mulching and fertilizing. So, it is when we love children; we spend time admiring them and caring for them.

“We give them our time.

“The time and the quality of the time that their parents devote to them indicate to children the degree to which they are valued by their parents.

“The feeling of being valuable is essential to mental health and is a cornerstone of self – discipline. It is a direct product of parental love.

“When children have learned through the love of their parents to feel valuable, it is almost impossible for the vicissitudes of adulthood to destroy their spirit.”

The author goes on to say that if you don’t get this from your parents, it is possible to get it from other people, but it is much more difficult.

Anyone who has children knows that there are no perfect parents … heck, everyone knows that because they are someone’s child. But we need to continually work at getting better. There is always a need for us to help give some sense of worth to those we love.

That’s the challenge for this week … go and share that love. And while you’re at it, come downtown and I’ll see you on the bricks.

April 4, 2017

You must admit this recent weather has been very interesting. I love it. Rain to sweltering hot to rain to snow. And the lightning thrown in there while I drove back from home from Gruver was sensational. You can’t get a better show that it from Netflix.

Spring is here. Winter is officially over. The college basketball champion has been named. Major league baseball opens. And then it snows. A week packed with things.

And there are lots of things happening locally, too. In fact, I have a bunch of random sayings that I’ve saved to share and lots of local happenings. Today’s column is just going to be random bits and pieces. If you’re looking for it to all tie together, you might well be disappointed! But then you’ll get over it.

The Heisman Trophy (coveted college football award and trophy) is made in Wilson, Okla., a little town of 1,500. Interesting.

There is a Spring Salad Luncheon at St. Peter’s Parish Hall at 12th and Quinn in Guymon on Thur., Apr. 6. It starts at 11 am and ends at 1:30 pm. There is takeout available and if you cannot get to the hall, you can have free delivery for orders of four or more. There are assorted salads, homemade soup and homemade hot rolls in addition to homemade desserts. All for just $10 a plate and you’ll be supporting the Catholic Fellowship Circle. This is worth putting on your calendar!

“That energy which makes a child hard to manage is the energy which afterward makes him a manager of life,” said Henry Ward Beecher. Beecher was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker known for his support of the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage movement. He is also the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

There is a dinosaur traveling exhibit, the Mobile Museum of Earth History, with more than 20 fossils coming to Guymon April 6 – 8. On Thursday and Friday, the 6th and 7th, there are tours from 4 – 7 pm and a presentation at 7 pm. On Saturday, the tours run from 9 am to 4 pm and presentations are at 10:30 am and 2 pm. This is presented by the First Christian Church and is to be seen at the Disciples Center, 802 N. Quinn in Guymon.

“We all fear the unknown – the strange, the different. The natural fears of parents are made worse by ignorance, and unfortunately, they pass them down to their children.” Jackie Robinson said this. Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. When he began his stellar ten – year baseball career for the Brooklyn Dodgers he broke the sport’s color line, bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s.

Friday morning, April 7, starts bright and early with Eggs and Issues. A Chamber of Commerce event, this is the perfect time to learn what is happening at the state capitol. Representative Casey Murdock and Senator Bryce Marlett are invited to come and tell what is happening with our law makers. This is the time you can state your concerns. It’s a lot more effective to state your concerns here than to whine about them at the coffee shop or hair dressers! Eggs and Issues has a full breakfast sponsored by TCEC this month and good people are there. Everyone is welcome to come to the meeting at the Ambassador Restaurant on Highway 64 North.

“Little girls are in fact smaller versions of real human beings, whereas little boys are Pod People from the Planet Destructo,” according to Dave Berry. A native of New York, Barry is a Pulitzer Prize winning American author and columnist.

Lifeway Christian Church is holding an Indian Taco Dinner and Silent Auction and Bake Sale, also on Friday, at the Methodist Enrichment Center, at 6th and Quinn in Guymon. Get advance tickets and they’re $8 for adults and $5 for kids. The dinner goes from 5 – 8 pm.

“If men do not keep on speaking terms with children, they cease to be men, and become merely machines for eating and for earning money,” said Pulitzer Prize winning writer John Updike.

The Senior Citizens have a dance on April 15 with Cottonwood playing. The country and western dance is at the No Man’s Land Center, 515 NE 15th Street and is open to all. It goes from 7 – 10 pm.

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children,” wrote Alex Haley, the author of “Roots.”

Community Clean – Up takes place on April 22. Be a part of this. Lend a hand. Give an hour or two. Make a difference. Find out more by call the Main Street office at 338-6246.

“Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United State. Ask any Indian.” So stated Robert Orben, a professional comedy writer and magician.

We are putting together a group of classes designed for the business owner and manager or someone wishing to become an entrepreneur. If you have any classes you would like to see offered, call 338-6246. A list of the classes being offered is soon to be released.

Hope you have a fine time in this interesting weather on the bricks.